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2004 Dodge Dakota

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2004 Dodge Dakota Review

An excellent pickup trunk for driving in the working world and the playing world.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2004 Dodge Dakota is available in three cab levels: the regular, club, and crew. Dodge also creates a multitude of trim packages, effectively stripping the base model of all but the basic features. The trim packages have a good selection of features.

Dodge introduced the Dakota in 1987 as a midsize pickup truck. It sells as a compact but it marks the largest model in its class. Dodge redesigned the Dakota in 1997. Subsequent years produced a powerful R/T model with a 250-horsepower engine and the Quad Cab. In 2004, Dodge discontinued the R/T model and gave the Dakota a new engine and added a Stampede Package. The Stampede Package includes monochromatic paint and additional body cladding to give it a more rugged look.

The Range

Body Styles: club cab pickup, crew cab pickup
Engines: 3.7-liter V-6, 4.7-liter V-8
Transmissions: manual, automatic
Models; Dodge Dakota Club Cab Base, Dodge Dakota Club Cab Sport, Dodge Dakota Club Cab SLT, Dodge Dakota Club Cab SXT, Dodge Dakota Sport Plus, Dodge Dakota Club Cab SLT Plus, Dodge Dakota Crew Cab Sport, Dodge Dakota Crew Cab SLT, Dodge Dakota Crew Cab SXT, Dodge Dakota Crew Cab Sport Plus, Dodge Dakota Crew Cab SLT Plus

What's New

Dodge gives the 2004 Dodge Dakota a new 3.7-liter ,V-6 Magnum engine and introduces a new optional Stampede Package. It also drops the R/T model, choosing to focus on the Dakota line.


The 2004 Dodge Dakota comes in three body styles and five trims. The base models come equipped with 16-inch silver-styled wheels, a chrome grille, a rear step bumper, delay-off lights, and variable intermittent windshield wipers. The SLT adds remote keyless entry and 16-inch silver aluminum wheels. Heated door mirrors remain optional for the Sport and SLT trims. The Sport trims can get the optional Stampede package which adds extended sills, restyled front and rear fasciae, and a thicker rear stabilizer.

The exterior of the Dakota looks strong and confident. The big chrome grille, large black front bumper and square halogen headlights give the appearance of toughness. The quad, or crew, cab has four full-size doors that open wide enough to allow easy access to the rear seats. The club cab has smaller doors, which makes entry to the rear seats a bit snug.


The base models of the 2004 Dodge Dakota come sparsely outfitted. Standard features include cloth upholstery, air-conditioning, and an AM/FM stereo. The SXT trim adds upgraded interior carpet, bucket seats, and a CD player. The Sport and Sport Plus trims add power accessories, keyless entry, an upgraded gauge cluster, a six-disc CD changer, and color-keyed cloth interiors. The SLT and SLT Plus trims add leather upholstery.

The interior of the cabin looks spacious, with plenty of room for seven passengers. The front seats feel comfortable and supportive, although the upholstery covering the seats has a smooth, dull feeling. The interior uses materials of mediocre quality. The audio controls are large and easy to operate and the gauges easy to read. The instrument panel looks well-organized and the center stack seems neat and intuitive. The Venture has a lot of storage spaces in the cabin. You can also replace the second-row bench seat with two captain’s chairs in the LS trim; they come standard in the LT trim. The captain’s chairs feel comfortable and can fully recline when moved completely forward.

Performance & Handling

The 2004 Dodge Dakota employs a 3.7-liter, Magnum V-6 engine that produces 210 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque. You can also get the optional 4.7-liter, V-8 engine that produces 235 horsepower at 295 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard and a five-speed automatic remains optional. Towing capacity rates at 6600 pounds.

The ride quality feels comfortable and stable, although the models equipped with four-wheel drive with the stiffer suspension produces a slight jiggle when traversing bumpy roads. Acceleration seems good for city driving; however, the 4.7-liter engine lags when passing vehicles on the highway. The cabin experiences some wind noise when traveling at highway speeds.


Standard safety equipment for the 2004 Dodge Dakota includes rear-wheel anti-locking brakes. Four-wheel ABS provides an additional option. Dodge offers no side-impact airbags. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, or IIHS, gives the Dakota a ?poor? rating for frontal collision protection. ?poor? marks the lowest rating given by the IIHS.

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge Dakota Base: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Dodge Dakota Sport: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Dodge Dakota SLT: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Dodge Dakota SXT: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Dodge Dakota Sport Plus: 14/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powerful engine
  • Responsive shifting
  • Good suspension system
  • Easy access to rear passenger area
  • Roomy cabin

You Won't Like

  • Mediocre fuel economy
  • Bland interior design
  • Poor safety ratings
  • Pricey options

Sum Up

An excellent pickup trunk for driving in the working world and the playing world.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Nissan Frontier
  • Ford Ranger

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